On Tuesday night, the Texas House gave approval to legislation to end red-light cameras in the state of Texas.
House Bill 1631 by State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) seeks to end the practice statewide and made waves in the Texas Capitol earlier this session after the bill garnered over 100 bipartisan coauthors shortly after being filed.
The bill, originally set for consideration Monday, was brought up on Tuesday evening with the Texas House trailing behind on its daily legislative calendars after weeks of slow-walking legislation and taking the weekend off before a key legislative deadline.
Though the bill was passed with 108 members in favor and 35 opposed, debate was lengthy. Stickland navigated a plethora of points of order to kill the bill or subsequent amendments, and several members made repeated attempts to weaken or water down provisions of the legislation.
One amendment, brought by State Rep. Armando Martinez (D–Weslaco), introduced a grandfather clause to allow municipalities to continue use of the cameras through the end of their contracts. That amendment was ultimately successful, despite Stickland’s objections, though a change to the amendment brought by State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park) limits the date from which the contracts could be extended to curtail decades-long contracts from being signed shortly before the law is enacted.
The legislation marks the first bill passed by Stickland, who is better known for killing bad legislation during his four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.
The House must give final approval to the bill tomorrow before sending the legislation to the Senate, where a similar bill by State Sen. Bob Hall (R–Edgewood) has been eligible for consideration for the past week on the Senate’s Intent Calendar.